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Thread: US gun laws

  1. #51
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheOriginalH
    Hellbent, upon your demise, I'll make sure you're investigated for a Darwin award, I've no doubt you'll deserve one.

    Your main concern "as an officer" is to protect and serve the community, not shoot them. This never was a "confrontation", that's the point - and also the reason that carrying guns for defence is laughable.

    Thanks once again for bolstering my point by example

    H
    C'mon, a little more respect.

    I'd like to weigh in, however, and say that while an officer is here to protect and serve, they are also here to protect THEMSELVES. They're the ones with their lives on the line, and I think their work is being cheapened more all the time.

    It seems a police officer cannot defend his or herself these days without being accused of being rash, or a racist, or something else undesirable. If you hold a gun up and order someone to stop, and they RUN RIGHT AT YOU WITHOUT STOPPING, why is it not safe to assume the person is attacking you? The deaf person theory is totally out the window at this point.

    I would like to add that even in that situation, I would try to aim for a non-lethal area, but sometimes there is only a split-second to react.

  2. #52
    Chikin Choker Hellbent's Avatar
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    Thank you TWTCommish,
    I dont see were liberals get off on telling a cop when he is and is not allowed to defend himself. The bottom line is that the officer is the one who is actually in the situation, If Society did not trust his best judgement They would not allow him to join the police force. So in my opinnion you cannot castrate law enforcement by second guessing their every action, It is goal detrimental.

    Also TWTCommish i would like to commend you on giving your opinnion without making any personal attacks. This is just a debate H we are not enemies.
    Straight from the TP! And I don't mean the Trailer Park.

  3. #53
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Oops thanks for pointing that out originalH! Although it seems to have generated debate nonetheless...

    Originally posted by TWTCommish

    If you hold a gun up and order someone to stop, and they RUN RIGHT AT YOU WITHOUT STOPPING, why is it not safe to assume the person is attacking you?
    It is perfectly safe to assume this. You cannot shoot someone dead just for running, though. If the officer is geniunly scared he or she can fire some warning shots, or wound the person. Killing him dead when there has been no weapon sighting is just way too corrupt to me.

    I thought that police officers weren't allowed to even use a gun unless they had a sighting of a weapon, or report of a weapon from one of their senior officers. ?

    Gee I am outnumbered in this argument aren't I!

    Well - if I were ever an armed police officer, and an unarmed man ran toward me, I wouldn't shoot to kill, I'd shoot to scare and possibly to wound, if I was really scared.
    Last edited by mmj; May 18, 2001 at 21:43.
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  4. #54
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Hellbent, your comments were so far off what I consider to be "the mark" that I was outraged. We do have radically oposing views (yours being the wrong ones by the way ), but you are absolutely right, there was and is no call for personal insult - I apologise and it is withdrawn.
    Like I said, I have plenty of personal experience in this area -Onechance, I have been attacked and or threatened with a multitude of weapons, to this day, I have not "needed" a gun. I suspect that an ill trained person in possesion of one would consider that he/she needed it in the same situations though, and would probably write in to a magazine glorifying how it saves his/her life.
    twt -we are never going to agree on this I don't think, but I would like to point out a semantic difference in your argument from the hypothetical "facts". The individual is not "RUNNING AT HIM WITHOUT STOPPING", he is "coming towards him" and "continuing towards him" - the point of the excercise is to teach police recruits not to read more into a situation than is there. Your "RUNNING AT HIM" thing has been entirely projected onto the situation by yourself, precisely the sort of thing this training aims to erradicate.
    The trainees that fail the test have assumed: Aggression, potential violence and weapon possesion.
    What the situation actually was: Fear, communication difficulty and explanitory card possesion.

    In a real situation like this, shooting the individual is both unnessecary and indefensible - like I said, your police force think so, so I am amazed that you are challenging it.


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  5. #55
    SitePoint Enthusiast DCE's Avatar
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    Maybe some of you New Yorkers could confirm what I read recently........
    that it is perfectly OK to own a hand gun but illegal to own a ferret, on the grounds that a ferret is dangerous!!!!!!!
    DCE
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  6. #56
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I think the police force is wrong -- I think it's a dumb excercise. I think most deaf people would not continue "coming at" the officer if they had a gun pointed at them, barring a lack of basic intelligence. This is common sense, as far as I'm concerned.

    To me, coming at implies running or walking briskly at -- my apologies if this is not the way you interpreted it. This was basically in response to the argument that some people with guns give orders to people -- when do they say "walk right towards me?" -- I think 9 out of 10 deaf people would stop dead in their tracks with their hands in the air.

    What the trainees assumed: that the person is of average intelligence.
    What the situation actually was: unrealistic and dumb

  7. #57
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Your honour, I had no choice but to shoot him; he was ambulating extemporaneously in my general direction.
    Last edited by freakysid; May 19, 2001 at 13:19.

  8. #58
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Quite an exaggeration!

    I'm sorry, but do you know ANYONE, deaf or otherwise, who would continue coming at a police officer with a gun pointed at you, who's mouth appears (from a visual standpoint) to be yelling/forming words?

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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    Quite an exaggeration!

    I'm sorry, but do you know ANYONE, deaf or otherwise, who would continue coming at a police officer with a gun pointed at you, who's mouth appears (from a visual standpoint) to be yelling/forming words?
    I don't know ANYONE, but I don't know the entire world population. I don't think this is relevant. An unarmed, innocent person has a right, if he wants to, to walk towards an armed police officer without being killed.

    If you take what freakysid said and twist it around in the way he may have intended, and replace "shoot him" with "shoot him dead", you have killed a guy for walking quickly in your general direction.

    The police don't "give orders" and expect them to be obeyed upon penalty of quick death.

    What the trainees assumed: that the person is of average intelligence.
    What the situation actually was: unrealistic and dumb
    Therefore the trainees failed and are guilty.
    This has a really odd ring to it. Do you imply that a person of below average intelligence deserves to die in a situation, simply because the situation was unrealistic?
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    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Hey - I'm not really debating the issue either way here. I just found TWTCommish's turn of phrase "walking briskly" quite amusing and couldn't help but extend it further. An accidental or rash shooting such as described in the scenario painted by Wayne is tragic. These shootings do happen from time to time. In hindsight I'm sure that the killer is quite remorseful for their wrongfull act of manslaughter. We had a case locally a few years ago where a crazed French man brandishing a knife (later confirmed to be a schizophrenic) was shot dead on Bondi Beach after he "lunged" at the police officers who were trying to take him into custody. The beach was practically deserted around the scene of the incident. How the police handled the situation doesn't seem to make sense but that's what happened and the policman who shot the poor guy dead has to live with that.

    But I am genuinely concerned about the "training" and general ability of police to act rationally under pressure. There was a notorious crime squad police unit (can't remember their name - since disbanded) in my state of New South Wales who (and this is going back twenty or so years ago) shot a bloke in the jaw in his bed. They had broken into his house in the middle of the night in a raid to arrest him. When he awoke startled the police felt threatened enough to shoot the guy in the jaw. Problem was they raided the wrong house.

    You know the old saying "Shoot first. Ask questions later".

    I remember another incident going back a few years in Victoria, where the police shot dead a guy (who was driving in his car) and who matched the description of a wanted criminal. Problem was it was a mistaken identification - wrong guy!

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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    You can throw all the examples and instances of rash police behavior at me that you want, but it doesn't change my point of view, nor should it.

    Does a person deserve to die for being below average intelligence? No, of course not, but I don't think anyone here has ever, EVER met anyone who would continue coming at the officer like that -- it's just ridiculous. Forrest Gump would know better, for crying out loud.

    So, tell me: who's life is deemed more important? If an officer is in a place at night INVESTIGATING something (as the scenario involved, I believe), and they see someone who continues "coming at them" despite them yelling and pointing a gun at them, what should they do? You tell me.

    So far this has all been about whether or not it's suitable to fire -- it's also been ASSUMED that "fire" means "death", when it could mean a shot in the leg. Let's not forget the other side of things: what happens if the officer fails to fire or anything? What if, the majority of the time, failing to fire gets the officer killed?

  12. #62
    Anyone seen my cypher? OneChance's Avatar
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    I was on a jury a couple of months ago for this. Basically, a police officer needed to question a suspect that was walking away from him. When the suspect finally heard the cop, he quickly ran towards the police vehicle, where the cop was (the cop was yelling "freeze" but the guy kept coming). The cop didn't know what the guy had in mind (it was dark and hard to see the guy's hands at all times) so when the suspect came up to the cop, the cop took evasive maneuvers to subdue him on the trunk of the car. Now, the cop never drew his weapon because he had reason to believe that this guy wasn't armed, but the slamming of the guy onto the trunk was done by the book according to the cop and another cop that later came onto the scene. The suspect stated that he didn't mean any harm by running towards the cop, but the cop obviously felt threatened by it. This all happened in a pretty good neighborhood, but I can imagine if it happened in a dark downtown alley, the cop would've drawn his gun.

    So there, some people really are stupid enough to run towards a cop even when they're told to freeze. BTW, the suspect was not hard of hearing, he spoke English, he didn't appear to be the brightest guy in the world, and he was pretty intoxicated (six beers within an hour).

    Hmmm, I've forgotten my point.

  13. #63
    Chikin Choker Hellbent's Avatar
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    Well I live in Texas, Only state in the Union where the "He needed killin" defense is still a valid defense in court.
    Straight from the TP! And I don't mean the Trailer Park.

  14. #64
    SitePoint Addict Drinky's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    I think the police force is wrong -- I think it's a dumb excercise. I think most deaf people would not continue "coming at" the officer if they had a gun pointed at them, barring a lack of basic intelligence. This is common sense, as far as I'm concerned.
    The test, I think measures a candidates ability to accuratly read a situation, and while most people would perhaps stop, you train for the worst and hope for the best. That way everything goes fine and most people stop, but at the same time you are not surprised by the one person that doesn't. You are more likely to realise that the subject can't or doesn't understand if you have been through this test, than if you havent. Memory, recolection and pattern recognition are much faster processes than cognitive reasoning and thought. Having never taken the test you may never realise that the person can't/doesn't understand.

    Having read the scenarios the first thing that came to my mind was 'whoa i never thought of that'. With hindsight (and i must admit much examining of keys) i can't really see the similarity between keys and a knife except for the fact that they are both metal and shiny, but this is in the cold light of day. At night when it's dark if you only catch a glint of light off the keys they can look like anything else that is made of shiny metal, or even transparent plastic. Also in both scenarios you'd more than likely be under the influence of adrenaline. Adrenaline is an amazing thing, it can effectively slow time by upto a half, the effect and severity of the effect varies from person to person, i remember the longest 3 seconds of my entire life was when I was a passenger in a car as it left the road, hedge bound (noone was hurt). Adrenaline is part of your bodies fight or flight mechanism, it gets you ready to do both, it also promotes instinctive behaviour rather than thought out behaviour because the response time is faster. I once scared a cat by opening the door of a greenhouse, the cat bolted through a plate glass wall next to the now open door, because it's instinct was to "get out!" rather than to "leave via the now open door". People train so that the correct, or best solution to problems becomes instinctive.

    You shoot the deaf guy because he's not stopping and approaching zero barrier (the point inside of which you feel in danger) and this is your fight or flight instinct, you have a gun so you choose you fight since your gun is already out and you have the advantage. With trainging the thought that he may not understand would cross your mind, with more training that thought would be instinct.

    Thoughts?

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    The following is a general observation 'you' does not refer to anybody in particular.

    As for the guns for defence argument, on the one hand you say you need a gun to defend yourself, your family and your
    home. But at the same time you say that due care should be taken in ownership. The gun should be locked away, and some people believe un-loaded to boot. Now my question or observation is this: You are a respectable gun owning type who stores them safely away e.t.c. in bed one night you hear what sounds like a couple of guy's breaking in, how quickly can you get the keys to your lock box, get the box from wherever you put it, get the gun and the bullets, charge the magazine, insert the mag into the gun, and ready the weapon, without alerting them to your presence?

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Gun ownership.

    Up until they banned hanguns in the UK we always had guns in the house, rifles, revolvers, semi-auto pistols. My dad was an avid target shooter. We kept them in a locked, intusion proof (it would take you a long time to get the door off even with a plasma cutter) 2 ton steel safe under the stairs. The police used to come around every month (i think, might be every other month) to do an inventory. I have in my time used a few guns, I was not to bad a shot too, although the onlything I ever shot was paper targets at varying ranges.

    You tend to find that people who have been around guns and people who have not always di-agree on the who kill's people question, people or guns. Those who have been around guns / own guns / use guns always take the people kill people (myself included) side. Poeple kill people all be it with the aid of guns. People also kill people with swords, knives, bats, cars, trucks, stones, fists, and anything else sharp/heavy/big/flat/round. There are literally thousands of ways to kill people, guns are but one small tool in the toolbox of a killer. Having done an A' Level in biology and learnt about things such as human anatomy, the imune system, the respiratory system, skelatal structure, locations of nerve plexus' e.t.c. i probably could think of a few more. Imagine what doctors must know, if you can fix something chances are you have the knowledge to un-fix it. Un-fortunatly for gun owners and pro gun types, guns just happen to be one of the most efficient and effective ways of killing people, which makes them top of the list for the anti-gun people to limit/controll/eliminate.
    Drinky

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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    So far, this has all been myself an a few others defending the officer possibly firing -- which, does not have to be lethal, necessarily. What is your response (and that of the others) to the fact that in such a situation, the person is pretty likely to be dangerous? What is the officer to do? Let this person get up close to him?

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    SitePoint Addict Drinky's Avatar
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    I was defending the scenario, rather than defending/criticising the officer.

    This is a tough call, however there are more weapons on an officers belt than just a gun, but the problem is changing weapon. You couldn't easily holster your gun and draw say baton or pepper spray easily while the suspect is advancing. But this is one of the situations where having a partner helps, you can cover him as he moves in with a non-lethal weapon, or vice versa.

    There are a few more options than shooting the person though, you can always take a step back or sideways, if you have one you could get a pepper spray off your belt with your non-gun hand. If you are left with no alternative you could go for a non-lethal shot.

    Think of the same situation in the UK, what would you do in exactly the same situation armed only with the kit a UK officer has?
    Drinky

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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I'm not sure -- I don't know what UK officers carry. Could you inform me?

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    SitePoint Addict Drinky's Avatar
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    This is based on observation

    Rigid handcuffs, truncheon/telescopic baton/stick of some decription. Officers in some cities such as greater manchester usually partol with body armour on. I am unsure as to whether pepper spray has been aproved for use by the ploice yet.

    We do have armed officers, but they have to be called in.

    Admitedly the person walking toward you is much less likely to have a gun, but it's still possible.
    Drinky

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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    In this case, more info is needed -- what does this person look like? I guess we've established that the person is a man. How big is this man? If he's 6-4 and 300+ lbs, you have to be more careful. How fast is he walking? What time of day is it? Is it a bad part of town?

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    SitePoint Addict Drinky's Avatar
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    It's not my scenario... it was posted by W. Luke on page 2.
    Drinky

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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I know. Was hoping he would see that post. If anyone else happens to know I'd be interested to hear.

    However, I don't like the notion (I think someone said this earlier) that this person is somehow not required to stop if ordered. I think a police officer should definintely be allowed to tell someone coming towards them to stop. If the person can hear and understands, they should have no exscuse.

    Otherwise, what is the officer to do?

  22. #72
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    I don't know about gun laws.

    I do know that a friend of mine, who's husband owned a gun, shot her head off with it.

    I will never own a gun or live with somebody who does. If I'd owned a gun at certain times in the past, I'd be dead right now.

    Hmm. Guns should probably be harder to get, I think.

  23. #73
    Database Jedi MattR's Avatar
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    We beat this dead horse a couple months back if anyone is interested:
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=13891

    Couple of things:
    I have a very good friend who is deaf; he was my roommate freshman year (3 years ago) and he lives not 45 minutes away from me. He has been taught (or taught himself, can't remember) to read lips and this practice is farily common for deaf children who go through any sort of education (he's actually going to be a "special ed" teacher I think). Deaf or not, if a police officer points a gun at me I will do two things:
    slowly raise my hands in the air
    lay face down on the ground

    saying, of course, "I am unarmed please for the love of God don't shoot me!"

    Of course, I'll call him tomorrow (well send him an e-mail) asking what he would do in that situation.

    Per Wayne's post EDUCATION is extraordinarily important. Don't hide the gun and pretend you don't own it. Kids have seen guns on TV and they've played with toy guns I'm sure... However as children have proven, they are incredibly impressionable.. Think of the kids who have set themselves on fire due to MTV's Jackass -- these are "normal", smart children who have acted idiotically. Explain that if you point a gun at someone you do that for one reason and one reason only:
    to save YOUR life (or your families). etc. I don't need to go into what to tell your child (I'll have to give this speech sometime in my life but that's a ways off so I'll have it down pat by then) but for crying out loud explain explain explain (on a daily basis) what the child would do if they saw your gun lying out. "Leave it there and call daddy".

    The training video is a red herring though – how does that IN ANY WAY matter? It’s training cops to NOT shoot first and ask questions later – which, last time I checked, is a GOOD THING!!

    Regarding the “defense” issue: I keep mine cocked (well Glocks don't have a 'cockable' hammer as such) and loaded with a bullet in the chamber, next to my bed. If someone breaks in to my 2nd story room and takes the gun and shoots me, then I was a fool for somehow not waking up when he did this. End of story. I own 3 Glocks which I think are the finest handguns ever made, albeit a bit hard to like from an aesthetic standpoint (I find their boxy shape attractive, kind of like the Nintendo game cube. Geometry is cool )

    Not to be insensitive LuZer, but Japan, which has disallowed guns, has a higher per captia incidence of suicides than the US.
    Last edited by MattR; May 20, 2001 at 20:28.

  24. #74
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    they see someone who continues "coming at them" despite them yelling and pointing a gun at them, what should they do? You tell me.
    Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If somebody is walking around, with no firearm, no weapon at all, no threatening language, etc, why would I have reason to shoot him dead?

    It confuses me that you find that the deaf person is in the wrong.

    Thankfully this kind of tragedy rarely happens. It happens from time to time in the USA, but this is probably just due to the fact that there are more guns there [I'm not saying this is a bad thing - just that they have higher population and greater penetration of gun owners]. But still, compared to the number of gunpoint situations the number of fatal police shootings is very low. There are relatively few quick-fingered police officers.
    Last edited by mmj; May 20, 2001 at 21:59.
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  25. #75
    Anyone seen my cypher? OneChance's Avatar
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    mmj, how is the cop supposed to know that the suspect is unarmed and deaf? There are many places one could hide a gun, and the chances of the person being deaf is pretty remote (I have only met one completely deaf person in my entire life). Just because the gun is not out in the open doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And why the assumption that deaf people are stupid? If someone points a gun at you, you would most likely freeze. I can't imagine why a deaf person would act any differently. I've had a shotgun pointed right in my face and I froze out of sheer horror. It's an automatic response. Furthermore, if a cop is at a location, he's (or she's) probably there for a reason, to check on a disturbance. The deaf person could very well be the suspect.

    Let's try another scenario: A cop answers a disturbance call and sees some guy walking around the location. The guy sees the cop and starts walking towards him. The cop yells "freeze!" but the guy keeps coming while reaching behind him. The cop remembers his training, that the guy could very well be deaf and reaching for a card stating as such. That hesitation allows the suspect to grab the gun which was hidden in the small of his back and shoot the cop dead.

    The scenario W. Luke gave earlier is full of flaws. Maybe the card should've read, "Hello, my name is Jeff. I am deaf and incredibly stupid. How can I help you?"


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